The important scholarly achievements of Polish historians remain largely unknown outside Poland. In Nation and History, editors Peter Brock, John Stanley, and Piotr J. Wróbel have brought together twenty-four essays on Polish historians from the Enlightenment to the Second World War, an era of unparalleled changes in every aspect of Polish life.
From the late eighteenth century until 1918, the Polish state was partitioned between its three neighbours: Russia, Prussia (Germany), and Austria. Polish historiography throughout this period tended to focus on the reasons behind the old Polish state's decline and fall. This shaped Polish historians' vision of their country's past and created the burden of not only having to discuss the state, but the issue of 'nation' – its essence, its shape, and its failure.
The contributors to this volume – from Poland and abroad – closely examine the role played by historians in both the documenting and shaping of Poland's history. While featuring different approaches, Nation and History serves as the most comprehensive work on Polish historiography written in English.